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Steve Pable

Good stuff, John.

I think one of the most amazing things about the Truth & Reconciliation process is the fact that it even found its way into public policy. It runs so contrary to our baser instincts, that I think even the fact that it was undertaken at all deserves to be celebrated.

IMO, the money quote from that evaluation: "In some cases it has been very significant, very deep and very meaningfull to victims, and has produced new truth which we would not have accessed if we had followed a legal process of punishment." The discovery of "new truth" in ourselves, in victims, in perpetrators-- as often as that happens, it should be recognized as a profound accomplishment.

And thanks for highlighting the Forgiveness Institute-- I just learned of it a few weeks ago when my uncle, a Capuchin Franciscan priest, made a reference to it during a retreat. A remarkable crossroads between Biblical wisdom and the wider secular society.


I think very highly of the work of the Forgiveness Institute. I look forward with anticipation to the completion of Robert Enright's current writing projects.

Chariots of Fire 2

When I read Matthew 5:21-26 I really thought verse 26, which said, "Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid your last penny" had a lot of meaning behind its words. What I took from it was that it was stating that unless you truly and completely reconcile and come to terms with your anger then you will never fully forgive. I believe people need forgiveness from whatever bad has happened to them to move on with their lives. I’m not sure if this is what the verse really meant but that’s what I learned from it.

David Ker

How I wish I was in your class.

Chariots of Fire 5

I believe in forgiveness is an important asset for people to have. Everybody makes mistakes and in most cases, deserves forgiveness.

Chariots Of Fire 1

I forgot what verse this was in, but in order to forgive others you have to forgive yourself then God will forgive you. If you don't forgive yourself then God will not forgive you. Anyone knows what verse I'm talking about?

True Grit 2

I agree with Chariots of Fire 5 just because life is too short to hold a grudge your whole life and not forgive and get past the mistake. I feel that somebody has to learn from their mistake before you forgive them though.

Shawshank Redemption 1

Truth & Reconciliation are two words that are constantly redefined, but always seen as a measuring stick of how we as a person and a society measure up. However the Bible emphasizes this when a person looks at God’s Character. Throughout the Bible, God is constantly judging man on the truths or agreements that He and they have made with each other. When we read that the Israelites are punished, it is due to them falling away from the agreed upon truths. It is seen though that God is always working towards reconciling with His people. The greatest truth and reconciliation came with God sending His only Son. Man had turned so far away from God and the agreed upon truths, that the only way to create reconciliation was to have a blood offering from someone that never committed a sin. His Son became the truth to all mankind, that with his death and our acceptance of the sacrifice, we became reconciled to God again.

The Mission 3

I agree with the contents of Matt 18:15-35 but only to a certain extent. It says that we should keep forgiving the person sinning against us time after time. I agree with forgiveness and I think it is foolish to hold a grudge but if one person keeps sinning against me and disrespecting me, forgiving them each and every time would be showing them that it is ok for them to do it because in the end they will be forgiven anyway. I may be interpreting it in a totally wrong way for thinking this, but if a husband beats his wife and she forgives him after every beating, he’s just going to keep doing it. I know that his actions will be judged by God when it comes time but what about the woman? Will she have to suffer during her time on Earth because she has to keep forgiving him after he beats her?

Pulp Fiction 3

The passage in Matthew 18 says we should forgive those who sin against us. I agree with this statement to a level. I will not continually forgive someone who has done wrong by me multiple times; they simply show they are not worth of my trust. Forgiving them would only reinforce their behavior and make them think this is how they can act. The only one that can judge them is God, when the time comes. They will ask for the forgiveness that truly matters.

Pulp Fiction 4

I think the key to Matthew 18:15-22 is that verses 15 through 20 are just as important verses 21 and 22. Part of the process of forgiveness in this passage is to confront the perpetrator and explain to them what they did wrong. If they continue to commit the same offense, it is okay to stop dealing with that person, but you should forgive them for what they have already done.

So in the wife-beating scenario put forth by The Mission 3, the first step for the wife (Matthew 18:15) is demanding in private that the husband stop assaulting her. If it continues, the second step (18:16) would be an intervention involving his and her loved ones. Next would be something like calling the police (18:17). If any of these steps causes the man to change his ways, then she is supposed to forgive him. If he still abuses his wife, then it is okay for her to stop associating with him, most likely through a divorce.

Matthew 18:15-20 is an excellent plan to deal with wrongdoings: loving and fair yet realistic.


The first paragraph of this post strikes me a bit. First is by saying that God has an unforgivable trait, to me that doesn’t make any sense. If He is God and we are not, then how is it that we can say He has an unforgivable trait? Besides, this trait comes out of love for us, and Him wanting us to be with Him for eternity, so I do not think it is right for humans to say that something about God isn't perfect. Secondly I was also a bit confused as to why God was being compared to Buddhism. Buddhists don't believe God or any gods for that matter, and the main parts of their religion are no where similar to that of Christianity. For that reason, it's obvious as to why God wouldn't match up with the ultimate reality in Buddhism. Also since God is the one and only God and there should be no others besides Him, that also explains as to why He is unlike any of the deities we read about in classical sources.

Dead man walking 4

Truman Show 1,

I'm very confused on your perception on other religions. Buddhism is defined as a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha. Clearly, showing that they believe in a God. Also, there are numerous major religions in the world that have millions of followers. To say, “since God is the one and only God” is not accurate at all considering less than half of the world even believes in Christianity. Making it hard to put forth your reasoning in saying that God would win a match up versus another religion. Just because you believe in the Lord doesn’t mean others are wrong. No one has ever seen their God or meet him, your only defense is a book that is centuries old and been altered away from its original origin and it isn’t even the oldest form of worship. If you want to say “one and only” I think that would be the first religion in the world, whatever that may be.

Also, the unforgivable trait is caring. I agreed with the article, you would never get upset or hold it against someone for caring about you. It is natural that it connects everyone together. You could even make the correlation that you forgive another because you care about them and how they perceive you.

Nell 5

Truth, reconciliation and forgiveness is one of the hardest processes to go through in our lives. Think about it from this perspective; a man is at a party fooling around with a gun and the gun is loaded and goes off, killing another person. It would be easy to forgive if the person would admit to it first. However, the problem with some people is that they protect themselves before admitting they did wrong. Reference back to my example and lets say that person lies about the incident and tries to make it look like it was less of his fault. Is it reasonable to expect forgiveness in this act? I believe that it is not reasonable and punishment must follow. However, In this moment I have to reference the example of Cain and Abel. Cain killed his own brother Abel and tried to hide this from God, but of course God found out the truth and punished Cain. However, he would still protect Cain and I believe this is where forgiveness is truly found. God is so powerful and wise in everything he does and even after all the things we as sinful creatures do, he still forgives us. I guess the point I am trying to make is that we should follow God's example and forgive even in the darkest of sins.

Pulp Fiction 5

In my opinion forgiveness is something that everyone can work on getting better at. Forgiving someone can be extremely difficult at times based on the severity of the wrong doing. Getting angry is a normal and natural response when someone wrongs us. The key with anger, like our professor said in class, is that you cannot let it last into the sunset, or into the next day. Sometimes we simply have to take a step back and simply forget about the things that we cannot control and not worry about them. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we say it’s okay that they wronged us. To forgive someone properly, you have to acknowledge that what they did was wrong, but you still forgive them. My hope in forgiving people is that they will realize their mistake and make changes. I forgive people because I believe in giving people second chances.

One thing I have a hard time believing in is written in Matthew 18:21-22 where it states that we should not forgive someone 7 times but 77 times or in other words limitlessly. I try to believe in this because I know it is the plan of God and He is intending good to prevail, but if someone wrongs me over 70 times they obviously aren’t learning their lesson. I think this verse might not work very well in today’s world simply because a lot of people don’t have the same religious beliefs as I do and might see my forgiving them as an opportunity to wrong me repetitively. When it comes down to it I believe people are inherently good and will realize their mistakes and make changes. If they continue to make mistakes and do wrong upon me then I will attempt to help them realize their mistakes. If they still continue to wrong me then I will simply have to avoid them as best as possible.

Shawshank 2

Forgiveness is such an easy concept but is so hard to follow through. If we really think about how many times someone has wronged us and we actually forgave them, I’m sure the number is pretty low. I saw a tattoo the other day that said “forgive but never forget” when I sat and thought about it, that is so true. Many of us will forgive someone about whatever situation had occurred, but we won’t forget it. This brings up another question, if we don’t forget then are we really forgiving? Later down the line something may remind us of the situation that we got mad at someone for and all of those emotions will be brought back to life. I also wonder if someone constantly asks us for forgiveness or even if we ask God for forgiveness for the same thing all the time, do we really want to be forgiven? How truly sincere is that person or ourselves? This is not for me to judge but it’s something to think about.


The topic of forgiveness is very difficult for some, myself included. The passage in Matthew 15:23-35 describes a servant who was forgiven his debt from his master and goes on to not forgive his own slave a smaller debt. This parable is completely spot on when it comes to the debt we own God. He forgave every sin we have committed and every sin we will commit by dying on the cross for us. Christ suffered on the cross and bore all our sins so we could go to heaven. How could we even think about not forgiving others for small debts? Compared to all our sins no other debt comes close. Now forgiving each other is a difficult task and I believe very few people can do it, but praying to God and asking for the Holy Spirit to enlighten us and give us the strength to forgive everything is possible. With God’s strength nothing is unreachable. Continuing to pray for strength helps me through the process of forgiving and I feel like if God knows I’m trying it has got to count for something.

True Grit 3

I agree with Shawshank 2, forgiveness is not an easy thing to do. In grade school we are taught the basics, say sorry and forgive. Sometimes just because someone says sorry does not mean it is as easy to forgive them. True forgiveness does not always stem from an apology. This is something I personally encounter in my own life. Its easy to go through the motions and say you forgive, but to truly forgive takes more time and understanding. I feel as if these stories in which God shows examples of forgiveness should obtain more focus in teachings and in our own study of the Bible.

Dead Man Walking 6

Every single person needs forgiveness and should be willing to give forgiveness to someone in their life time. None of us is perfect. We have to make mistakes and in most cases, we want to deserve forgiveness. According to Matthew 5: 26,“Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid completely your last penny”. This holds it had a lot of meaning to me. In order to forgive others, one must have to forgive oneself first, and then God will forgive you. God is always a judging man on the truth and reconciliation. Therefore, the Bible emphasizes this for people when they want to look at God’s character. It is seen that God always has reconciliation with His people, so the people will become reconciled to God no matter what has happened to them.

The Truman Show 3

Forgive and forget. Forgiveness is essential and so is moving on. We cannot show genuine forgiveness and allow our grudges to carry on. I try to live my life by following this principle. I am very passive and don't let other people's wrongs against me hold me back. I forgive and forget. It is pointless to lose a friendship or relationship over a grudge. People make mistakes; they say things and do things without thinking. We cannot simple let one or two blunders stand in our way of seeing them for who they really are. It is a simple principal really, and it can go a long way.

The Mission 21

I agree with The Truman Show 3 when he said that forgiveness is essential in our daily lives. A human being is going to encounter many different situations where they are lied to or hurt by the people they call friends. But if we as human beings hold every little grudge that was ever put upon us then we will run out of friends and loved ones. People make mistakes everyday and I believe that to really get to know someone you have to look at how they react and make up for their mistakes. With that being said I think very highly of people that are able to withstand the negatives put out there by others. It can go both ways with forgiveness.

breaker morant4

I like the idea of forgiveness. If every one could try and forgive people they would have a lot less stress when i forgive someone i feel like i can just move on with my live no matter what it is because i get to confront the persons that did something to me so they know they did something wrong and i get to move on.

Breaker Morant 2

Forgiveness is something that we as people strive for when we mess up and something we tend to be reluctant to hand over when someone messes up with us. It is an odd paradox that we strive for, but hardly ever give out any type of forgiveness. We are much more likely to keep and hold grudges because we "don't want that same thing to happen to us again". Life is not perfect, and life will hurt you sometimes, just as your friends, family and loved ones will sometimes lie and hurt you. What we need to do is learn to forgive them because then we are not only accepting their mistake, because we are all humans, but we are allowing ourselves to take a risk and move past what is hurting us and accept the person for who they are, rather then what their actions have been.

Bao Yang

Everyone looks for forgiveness and that people should also forgive others. Sometimes forgiving others is something hard for people to do. I think forgiving others is always a great thing to do because you are letting that person know that they are forgiven by you and that you are willing to start over again. Like what I said before that sometimes people they have hard time forgiving the person that did something wrong to them or others saying sorry to you for them doing something wrong to you. For example there is a lady who is related to me she was talking about me to other people. I did not like that and was not so happy about it. I called her and told her that I am not happy of what she did. She got mad at me and start saying bad words and saying bad things at me. Well I was really hurt and crying to my husband. This is what my husband said to me, he said call her and forgive her and say sorry but I told him no because I did not do anything wrong and she should say sorry to me instead. Well he said God always looses to people from saying sorry and forgiving others when it is not their fault. Right when he said that it hit me that yes that is true that God always forgives others no matter what they do he forgives. So I called her up and said I forgave even though she is still mad at me but I forgave. Sometimes people has hard time forgiving because of those things but if you knew what God has done for everyone than that gives you the strength to do as well.

Pulp Fiction 6

I feel that although God refuses to rest until the wrongs are right, as you stated, that is why he is our God and why we aspire to become closer to him. He always forgives us of our sins, whether they are forgivable or not, we can always trust in him to be there for us and forgive our wrongs. I agree that states must not only concern themselves with justice, but also with what is true and be able to find forgiveness. I feel that justice does need an equal part in society though, because without justice, people would be running all over doing whatever they pleased, causing havoc in the world.

Dead Man Walking 5

I think that truth, forgiveness and reconciliation are things that are all hard to put together in a sequence. It is easy to do one out of the list, but putting all three together presents a much bigger challenge to most people. This is something that I think all people could work on getting better at. Most people are good at forgiving, but without the truth from the wrongdoer, it is hard to go through the reconciliation process. Getting angry is a very normal reaction when someone wrongs us, the key though, is to not let the anger carry over more than it needs to be carried. Don’t let the anger go through to the next day. Sometimes, you have to take a step back and forget about the things you cannot control. This helps to start the forgiveness process. In this process you have to realize and acknowledge the wrong that was done and still forgive them.

The Mission 5

The “Truth and Reconciliation” article was an interesting read. When a family member is a victim of a crime, you often ask the questions of who did it and why. I think it would be very hard to forgive and move on if those questions cannot be answered. This sounds like an excellent way of talking about the crime and hopefully getting some closure and maybe even forgiveness someday.

Breaker Morant 3

Just like the anger of God, forgiveness is interesting to think about and difficult to grasp. We have trouble forgiving someone who did something terrible to someone we love, but God doesn't. This is one subject we talked about a lot at the camp I worked at. It's amazing to think that God loved Osama bin Laden as much as he loves me. Humans can't grasp it and we can't understand it. But that is why God is God and we are not. There are sins we commit everyday and don't deserve to even be in the presence of the Lord, but that's Grace. Wonderful, beautiful grace.

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    by Tim Bulkeley, lecturer in Old Testament, Carey Baptist College (New Zealand). His Hypertext Commentary on Amos is an interesting experiment
  • Ancient Near Eastern Languages
    texts and files to help people learn some ancient languages in self study, by Mike Heiser
  • Midrash, etc.
    A fine Hebrew-to-English blog on Midrash, by Carl Kinbar, Director of the New School for Jewish Studies and a facultm member at MJTI School of Jewish Studies.
  • Phil Lembo what I'm thinking
    a recovering lawyer, now in IT, with a passion for a faith worth living
  • Roses and Razorwire
    a top-notch Levantine archaeology blog, by Owen Chesnut, a doctoral student at Andrews University (MI)
  • Scripture & Theology
    a communal weblog dedicated to the intersection of biblical interpretation and the articulation of church doctrine, by Daniel Driver, Phil Sumpter, and others
  • Scripture Zealot
    by Jeff Contrast
  • Serving the Word
    incisive comment on the Hebrew Bible and related ancient matters, with special attention to problems of philology and linguistic anthropology, by Seth L. Sanders, Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Singing in the Reign
    NT blog by Michael Barber (JP University) and Brad Pitre (Our Lady Holy Cross)
  • Stay Curious
    excellent comment on Hebrew Bible and Hebrew language topics, by Karyn Traphagen, graduate, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia PA (archive)
  • Sufficiency
    A personal take on the faith delivered to the saints, by Bob MacDonald, whose parallel blog on the Psalms in Hebrew is a colorful and innovative experiment
  • The Sundry Times
    Gary Zimmerli's place, with comment on Bible translations and church renewal
  • Sunestauromai: living the crucified life
    by a scholar-pastor based in the Grand Canyon National Park
  • ta biblia
    blog dedicated to the New Testament and the history of Christian origins, by Giovanni Bazzana
  • Targuman
    by Christian Brady, targum specialist extraordinaire, and dean of Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
  • Targuman
    on biblical and rabbinic literature, Christian theology, gadgetry, photography, and the odd comic, by Christian Brady, associate professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
  • The Biblia Hebraica Blog
    a blog about Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the history of the Ancient Near East and the classical world, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, early Judaism, early Christianity, New Testament interpretation, English Bible translations, biblical theology, religion and culture, philosophy, science fiction, and anything else relevant to the study of the Bible, by Douglas Magnum, PhD candidate, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • The Forbidden Gospels Blog
    by April DeConick, Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University
  • The Naked Bible
    by Mike Heiser, academic editor at Logos Bible Software
  • The Reformed Reader
    by Andrew Compton, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (focus on Hebrew and Semitic Languages) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • The Sacred Page
    a blog written by three Catholic Ph.D.s who are professors of Scripture and Theology: Michael Barber, Brant Pitre and John Bergsma
  • The Talmud Blog
    a group blog on Talmud News, Reviews, Culture, Currents, and Criticism
  • Theological German
    a site for reading and discussing theological German, by Mark Alter
  • theoutwardquest
    seeking spirituality as an outward, not an inward quest, by David Corder
  • This Lamp
    Incisive comment on Bible translations in the archives, by Rick Mansfield
  • Thoughts on Antiquity
    By Chris Weimer and friends, posts of interest on ancient Greek and Roman topics (archive). Chris is a graduate student at the City University of New York in Classics
  • Threads from Henry's Web
    Wide-ranging comment by Henry Neufeld, educator, publisher, and author
  • Tête-à-Tête-Tête
    smart commentary by "smijer," a Unitarian-Universalist
  • Undeception
    A great blog by Mike Douglas, a graduate student in biblical studies
  • What I Learned From Aristotle
    the Judaica posts are informative (archive)
  • Bouncing into Graceland
    a delightful blog on biblical and theological themes, by Esteban Vázquez (archive)
  • Weblog
    by Justin Anthony Knapp, a fearless Wikipedian (archive)
  • Writing in the Dust
    A collection of quotes by Wesley Hill, a doctoral student in New Testament studies at Durham University (UK), and a Christian who seeks the charism of chastity
  • גֵּר־וְתוֹשָׁב
    by David Miller, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism, Briercrest College & Seminary, Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • ואל-תמכר
    Buy truth and do not sell: wisdom, instruction, and understanding - a blog by Mitchell Powell, student of life at the intersection of Christ, Christianity, and Christendom
  • משלי אדם
    exploring wisdom literature, religion, and other academic pursuits, by Adam Couturier, M.A. in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

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  • Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his professional affiliations. Unless otherwise indicated, the contents of Ancient Hebrew Poetry, including all text, images, and other media, are original and licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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